It was Jasper who snapped me out of my love induced stupor by grasping my shoulder and steering me back into the house. As much as I wanted to turn around to look at Jake again I realized that there were still issues that needed to be cleared up. For instance, all of the people I considered to be my friends currently hated my guts and considered me as good as dead.
Renee always told me that I had shitty luck when it came to making friends; I suppose it was because if I felt uncomfortable with the situation then I preferred to retreat into my own little world and ignore those around me. Of course, this led to many nights curled up on the couch with Bella while we independently read our chosen novel for that night. I think the situation at hand though, trumped all of my past attempts (or lack thereof) of making friends. Figures that the first time I actually felt comfortable enough to be myself around a group of people they want me dead by the end of the week.
Carlisle led us all into the large dining room as it seemed to be the only space large enough to comfortably hold all thirteen of us comfortably. Or at least as comfortable as the wolves would get in our presence. Carlisle sat himself down at the far end of the table, with Esme and Edward quickly snatching up the seats closest to him. Rose and Emmett both chose to sit on Esme's side of the table while Alice and Jasper filled the seats nearest to Edward. Sam, Embry and Jake refused to sit at the table instead opting to stand near the entryway to the room while Leah and Paul couldn't contain the shakes that racked their human bodies and chose to instead wait outside of the main doors after an approving nod from Sam. I stood in between the two groups, conflicted as to where I belonged. I considered myself to be better acquainted with the wolves having spent my first few days here in their company yet after the whole 'we want to kill you' debacle and the Cullen's graciously saving me from a near death I supposed that I was better off staying closer to them in case this conversation did not go as according to plan.
Opting to stand in between where Jasper and Edward sat, I finally gathered the courage to glance up and meet the eyes I knew would be staring at me. Sure enough his eyes bore into mine and if it weren't for the pity I could clearly see underneath the brown irises I would not have been able to direct my gaze anywhere else. Instead, I opted for Edwards long slender fingers tapping a silent tune against the dark mahogany tabletop.
Carlisle began to delve into my tragic tale, beginning at the part where Alice had a vision immediately after the battle had wrapped up and Esme and she had executed what I personally considered to be the rescue of the century. I began to fidget as I could see Sam eyeing me carefully throughout the whole story trying to justify what Carlisle was explaining through his own eyes. A quick thought crossed my mind in which I wondered what was going on behind that tough exterior mask of his before I realized that with my newly developed powers I could easily find out.
Physically restraining myself from face-palming I lifted the blanket that surrounded my mind and focused on Sam, blocking out all other noises. Thoughts of Emily flitted through my mind as I struggled to get a grasp on what was the past and what was current. Narrowing my eyes on Edward's pale fingers as they increased in speed, I was finally able to gather my bearings and successfully block out his past thoughts as well. I wanted to avoid the invasion of privacy as much as I could by only listening in to current thoughts in cases of emergency or extreme curiosity. I considered this to fall under both categories.
The unknown is risky. As much as I trust Brooke as a person, whatever sort of venom that currently runs through her veins is considered a risk. Do I consider her one of them? Or do I consider her to be one of us as an imprint? She's friends with the other imprints but is she safe enough to see them? I'm going to have to speak with the elders about whether or not she is allowed onto our side of the treaty line as she's technically not a full vampire. Unless of course her diet consists of blood… there's no way in hell she's going near Emily if that's the case. Poor Jake, the kid just can't catch a break what this will do to him if his imprint can't even come see hi-
"I don't want blood…" My voice sounded weak and even I couldn't deny that I was scared. I quickly placed the blanket back over my mind, deciding that I'd rather everything be out in the open.
"Pardon me?" Sam asked while jerking his head in my direction. I quickly realized that by answering Sam's unspoken thoughts I had completely cut off Carlisle's story just as he was about to explain to them that they believed I was gifted.
I fidgeted with my ring and sighed deeply before lifting my gaze to meet his as Edward's persistent tapping came to an abrupt halt. Of course he had been listening to me listening to Sam so he was the only one in the room besides me who actually understood my random statement.
"I'm not a threat because I don't want blood. Actually if anything a cookie dough ice cream sounds delicious right about now…" I dragged a hand roughly through my hair as my frustration with the situation increased "…I'm not a threat to anyone because I'm still me, Sam. I'm still the same girl that you all accepted 2 days ago and were willing to protect. Although this is my fault that I'm like this it wasn't by choice at all, believe me. I'm just as scared and confused as you are by the whole situation and what I really need right now are my friends by my side, not to be turned on simply because my heart beats a little faster and my skin is a little more durable." I said, although by the end voice had simply become a whisper as I struggled to contain all of my emotions.
Jasper must have sensed that I was quickly reaching my breaking point and I felt marginally better although still very frustrated by their unwillingness to accept me simply because I had a more potent bloodstream now.
Jake made a move to step forward while his hand reached out in a desperate attempt to reach for me. I abruptly stepped back closer to Edward as Jake's face fell and his hand grasped empty air before falling back to his side once more. Although it sent a flare of pain through my body to see him upset because of my rejection, I was unsure of everything right now with only the Cullen's and Bella having my complete trust.
"Brooke, you know that we all consider you a friend but the truth of the matter is I have to do what's best for my pack and my people and you are an unknown risk factor. Sure you say that you're the same person but how can I be assured of my people's safety and your stability? This situation is new to us all," Sam explained while placing his hand on Jake's shoulder. Whether this was an attempt to soothe him or restrain him I was unsure of.
"This is all ridiculous; you can't actually believe that I find human blood appealing do you? I mean sure I'm more durable but I definitely don't have the strength to take down one of you guys or even one of the Cullen's for that matter," I exclaimed, placing my hands on my hips and turning to face Embry who had appeared uninterested throughout the whole conversation.
"Incoming," Leah dryly stated from the main foyer.
I cocked my head to the left and listened intently as I could hear angry footsteps briskly walking to the front door of the Cullen's house. Edward stood quickly from his position, shoving his chair back against the wall as he began to exit the room.
"Bella, what are you doing here? I thought I told you to stay with Charlie until I came for you," Edward asked.
"Listen I just want to see Brooke, she's my sister and I have the right to protect her just as much as you do." Bella fought back while entering the dining room, appearing surprised by the amount of people that were here.
As she entered the room, I could clearly see that she was carrying a vase full of purple daisies which have always been my preferred choice of flower. I was about to step forward and take them from her in gratitude when it happened.
Bella stumbled over the threshold of the room, tightening her grasp on the vase in surprise as she struggled to regain her balance. She miscalculated her strength as the tiny glass vase snapped in her grasp and shattered falling like fresh snow to the ground. A collective gasp filled the room as the Cullen's stood from their seats yet were unable to help as Bella stood closer to the wolves and any sudden movements could set them off.
As the sharp edges of the now broken vase cut into her palm, Jasper fled the room via the window with Alice close behind him. Everyone else jerked their gazes to evaluate my reaction while Edward rushed to Bella's aide.
I stepped forward and reached out to my sister at a leisurely pace while Emmett began to move closer to me, I suppose to pull me back if need be. However; I directed my gaze to Sam as I exited the dining room through the archway along the wall opposite of Bella and re-entered only once I was holding a wet cloth I had retrieved from the kitchen.
"Here, Bells you're going to want to put some pressure on that…" I said, while smirking at Sam and the other wolves who were now joined by Paul and Leah.
"Well I guess this answers your problem then, if she was actually one of us there is no way she would be controlling herself right now with fresh blood in that close of a vicinity," Carlisle explained while moving towards Bella.
Jake smiled towards me as if proud of my little display of confidence but I quickly shot him down with a glare. I didn't need him to be proud of me, I needed him to man-up and stop acting like his life depended on me.
"Yes well, I suppose I couldn't get better proof than this. I will present the situation to the Elder's and the rest of the pack and get their input before getting back to you. Brooke, I'm truly sorry it has to be this way but I'm going to have to ask you to remain on Cullen property until I can get this sorted out with them. I hope you can understand," Sam explained.
I nodded in appreciation towards him as this was the most I could ask for. They were going to give me a chance, they weren't going to kill me, and if Sam was on my side then I knew it would all work out in the end. Sam smiled at me slightly before nodding to the others and exiting the house, the rest of the pack closely behind him. Jake lingered, begging me with his eyes to approach him or acknowledge him. As much as I wanted to give in and let myself fall into his embrace I knew I wasn't ready for that yet. So as his brown orbs sent out a silent plea, I turned on my heel and followed Jasper and Alice's trail out of the dining room window and into back woods without even giving him a second glance.